Tridibesh Dey

Department: Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology
Discipline: Sociology and Philosophy

Project Summary

Re-assembling molecules & societies: Ethnographies of plastic from India

I am concerned by the environmental impacts of plastic - especially in developing countries. However, I adopt an ethnographically detailed approach to studying these synthetic class of materials - which are at once ubiquitous as they may be specifically and locally materialized. As a result, plastic emerges in complex socio-political, cultural and economic relations throughout my research. In particular, I study contexts when a plastic object's designated use is over, and new calculations and practices enact its value and materiality in different ways. Some examples are the urban practices of plastic picking, sorting and recycling  - from my fieldwork in the city of Ahmedabad, India, or occasions of domestic repurposing - in different locations, including my own parents' home in India, and even grassroot protests against plastic use and accumulation in the commons. In studying these contexts - ground up, I critically analyse how more-than-human  'social' (re) organisations and political forms come up w/ plastic.

Supervisory Team

Mike Michael & Harry West



Wider Research Interests

Environment, material politics, development, power, change